November 24, 1999
Bruno on Boxing
By Joe Bruno---Former Vice President of the New York Boxing Writers
Association and the International Boxing Writers Association
News Item: The Revolutionary War--Round 2
It was the most devastating British invasion since the Beatles and the
Dave Clark Five.
Britisher Paul Ingle and quasi Britisher Lennox Lewis (heís a Canadian
citizen and represented Canada in the 1988 Olympics) strode into Madison
Square Garden last night and annihilated two Americans in the Yankís own
backyard; God bless the Queen.
Ingle retained his IBF Featherweight title with an exciting 11th round
TKO over over-aged and undersized hometown favorite Junior Jones from
Brooklyn. Jones, the former bantamweight champ, gave it all he had, being
constantly exhorted on between rounds by trainer/turned
After a see-saw first eight rounds with neither fighter gaining a decided
advantage, Atlas, also a native New Yorker, barked at Jones between rounds,
"How long have you been fighting, twenty years?"
Jones: "Yeah. Twenty years."
Atlas: "Well I just need 12 more minutes from you. Can you do it."
Jones: "Yeah, I can do it."
And that Jones did, when in the ninth round, he caught Ingle with a
straight right to the face. Ingle flew flat on his rump and rolled backwards,
legs high up in the air. Ingle was up at seven, but Jones has fired his last
The rest of the fight was Ingle landing lefts and right, and Jones
looking at the referee Steve Smoger like, "What he just did to me. Is that
In round 11, Jonesí legs looked like those of a young pony. A barrage by
Ingle drove Jones into the ropes. Jones looked at the ref again for help.
Smoger obliged by giving Jones a dubious eight count. The ref ruled not a
standing eight count, but claimed the ropes had held Jones from falling,
thereby constituting a knockdown.
Jones immediately grabbed Ingle in a clinch and Ingel threw Jones to the
canvas. Jones protested to Smoger. Smoger ruled no knockdown. Ingle snorted,
and battered Jones into the corner again. Jones looked at Smoker, this time
like: "You canít give me a baseball bat to part his scalp, so please stop
this fight before I get myself killed."
Smoger did and Jones didnít. So much for the good news for America last
The second fight between undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and
six-foot seven-inch Michael Grant was, in fact, not much of a fight. The most
interesting thing Grant did all night was holding hands in a payer session in
his dressing room minutes before he entered the ring. Grant and several other
righteous knuckleheads grasped hands in a circle, head down, beseeching God
to spearhead a divine struggle in favor of poor old Michael Grant. What these
dopes either forgot, or never considered in the first place, was that God,
being all just and all that, views Lennox Lewis as one of his disciples too.
After Lewis took Grant, like Grant took Richmond, maybe now they all
understand the mysterious ways of the Lord.
Grant entered the ring, sweatless, witless and basically clueless. He
tired to slug it out with the much more experienced Lewis, then got caught in
a clinch. Instead of grabbing Lewisí arms, Grant draped his arms around
Lewisí shoulders. Dumb move. Lewis, his arms free, fired a right uppercut.
Grant went down like he was shot out of a cannon. Then twice more before the
bell rang ending the very painful, for Grant and the Stars and Stripes,
In the second round, Grant again did the stupid clinch, but
donít-grab-your-opponentís-arms maneuver. Lewis used his free left glove to
pull Grantís head down. Then in a pendulum-like motion, Lewis fired a right
uppercut flush on Grantís chin. Grant went down on his back again, his eyes
The move was an obvious foul, and cause for disqualification in a lessor
fight, in a lessor limelight. But they robbed Lewis once in the New York City
already, and the inept New York Stae Athletic Commission, and the
surprisingly, and hopefully only for this night, inept referee Arthur
Mercante Jr., knew better than to do anything even resembling a heist.
Mercante Jr. did nothing, but bend down and count to ten, granting Lewis a KO
at 2:39 of round two.
It was a bad night for the Yanks and and good night for the Brits. But
like Bogart and Bergman always had Paris, weíll always have the Battle of
Bunker Hill. God save the Brooklyn Bridge.